THE MUGHAL EMPEROR Akbar is buried in this small village on the outskirts of Agra. It is believed that Akhar designed and started the construction of his own mausoleum, which was modified and completed by his son Jahangir. The result is this impressive, perfectly symmetrical complex, with the tomb located in the centre of a vast walled garden. The main gateway, to the south, is a magnificent red sandstone structure with a colossal central arch, finished with an exuberant polychrome mosaic of inlaid white marble, black slate and coloured stone. On each corner are four graceful marble minarets, considered to be the forerunners of those that can he seen at the Taj Mahal in Agra.

The large garden, where monkeys frolic, is a typical cbarbagh, an enclosed garden divided into four quarters (representing the four quarters of life) by a system of raised walkways, sunken groves and water channels. Once impeccably maintained, much of the greenery is now an unkempt tangle.

The main tomb is a distinct departure from the conventional domed structure of the tomb of Akbar’s father, Humayun, at Delh.

The first three storeys of this majestic, four-tiered composition, consist of red sandstone pavilions. Above them is an exquisite marblescreened terrace enclosing the replica tomb, which is profusely carved with floral and arabesque designs, Chinese cloud patterns and the 99 names of Allah.

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